Physical Addiction vs. Psychological Addiction: The Differences
physical addiction

Physical addiction vs. psychological addiction: How much do you know about the differences between the two? Read on to learn more.

Addiction to anything is something you want to avoid. Addiction can make you unhealthy. This affects the mental, physical, and even financial aspects.

Fortunately, there are professionals out there to help you overcome an addiction.

However, not everyone knows the difference between physical addiction vs. psychological addiction. Not sure if you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction? Here’s how to tell the difference.

Read on!

What Is Physical Addiction?

Physical addiction is a condition in which the body develops a dependence on a particular substance or activity. This type of addiction occurs when the body is exposed to a substance or activity regularly. It changes the chemistry of the body to make it dependent on continued use.

With a physical addiction, the body will experience physical withdrawal symptoms. This is when deprived of the substance or activity. The most common signs are:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Physical addiction is generally more difficult to break than psychological addiction because the body has come to rely upon the substance or activity to sustain normal functioning.

What Is Psychological Addiction?

Psychological addiction is an internal need for a substance that goes beyond a physical craving. This type of addiction often stems from emotional or mental stress. Individuals may use the substance to reduce or cope with this stress.

Psychological addiction can occur with almost any type of substance, including alcohol, drugs, gambling, or gaming. Psychological addiction leads to intense cravings. This need for the substance is usually accompanied by physical withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.

Symptoms of psychological addiction can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Disruptive behavior

Psychological addiction can also lead to risk-taking and other destructive behaviors. Treatment of psychological addiction traditionally includes:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Rehab

But many also opt for medication to treat the behaviors and underlying feelings of depression or anxiety. You may consider checking to get help if someone is dealing with any of these two.

Comparing Physical Addiction vs. Psychological Addiction

Physical addiction occurs when the body becomes physically dependent on a drug or alcohol to function daily. This type of addiction is often characterized by withdrawal symptoms when the use of the substance is discontinued.

Psychological addiction occurs when someone is dependent on the feelings that the substance provides. The user is unable to control their cravings. This happens even though they may be aware of the consequences.

Psychological addiction is more hazardous. It can lead to severe behavioral changes. Thus, it can impair one to function in social and occupational settings.

The main difference between physical and psychological addiction is that physical addiction is a metabolic dependence on the substance. Whereas psychological addiction involves a mental obsession with continued use.

How Physical and Psychological Addiction Is Crucial

Understanding physical addiction vs. psychological addiction is extremely essential to everyone suffering from addiction. Without understanding, it is hard to know how to treat drug and alcohol use.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of addiction can help with knowing when it is time to seek help. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, seek professional help today.

If you want to read more facts aside from this physical addiction guide and psychological addiction guide, visit our blog.

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